2017 SSST Final: Tyler Bate (PROGRESS Tag Team Champion) vs. Travis Banks (Super Strong Style Tournament Night 3- May 29, 2017)

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Clearly, the PROGRESS crowd doesn’t believe in burnout as they’re just as hot as they were for the opener of night one. The two men stare each other down. Banks goes an early submission and is also quite obviously the crowd favorite. Neither man gets an advantage as they play it safe. Banks hits a flurry that ends with a backcracker right into a cannonball. Diving uppercut as Bate works himself into the bout. Bate cuts an attempted dive with another uppercut. Diving headbutt but Banks grabs the clutch. Airplane spin into a cyclone kick. The ebbs and flows of this match are something special as they kick and strike with everything they have. Then Banks wipes out the official with a clothesline. UGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Banks hits a pumphandle bomb for three, but a second official has to run in. Slice of Heaven hits the second official. He connects and Pete Dunne comes in. Pedigree. Seven and Dune attack Banks. CCK come out to a huge reaction and clear British Strong Style. Banks heads up and swantons everyone on the outside. Bate goes low and hits a Bitter End. A third official comes in and counts two. Things settle back down as they roll around the ring in various pin attempts. O’Connor roll by Banks. Slice of Heaven but Bate hits a rolling kick. Gotch tombstone on the outside of the ring. Banks gets up almost right away and punches a chair back in Bate’s face. Gotch tombstone followed by Spiral tap. Banks kicks out. Exchange of kicks. Banks is met with a superkick. Tiger driver by Bate. Two count. Bate goes for a tiger driver off the top rope. Banks hits the Kiwi Crusher. Clutch. Bate taps.

Just incredibly frustrating to see this tournament final start off so well with the guys going back and forth only for a parade of bullshit to take away from what happened. The inconsistency of British Strong Style’s interference was problematic as they were nowhere to be found in the semifinal. If these two had been left alone and has the match that was happening before and afterward, I’d call this a match of the year contender. Under these circumstances, I can’t say this was one of the best matches of 2017. It’s an absolute shame because these two delivered. Banks definitely needs to work on his selling or risk turning into a Davey Richards clone. I think this would have functioned perfectly as a 10-15 minute sprint but not as a 25 minute main event.

One thing is for sure. Banks was absolutely the right choice to walk away with this tournament victory. The crowd has embraced him, and he’s now the fastest rising star in the scene right now. Bate is a guy who certainly doesn’t need more accolades and could be full fledged NXT very soon.

Winner (s)/Rating: Travis Banks/***


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